If you’ve ever done the drive on highway10 from Phoenix to Tucson, you’ve definitely noticed an intriguing looking mountain peak about an hour into the drive. It broadly rises from the earth and tapers off into a point at the top, appearing like an illustration straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. It’s called Picacho Peak, and if you haven’t already, exit off the highway and check this rad mountain out!
Picacho Peak State Park boasts multiple trails, but the most popular is likely the Hunter’s Trail. This 4 mile out and back trail that takes you to the summit of Picacho Peak will not disappoint, especially if you’re looking to get that adrenaline pumping. What sets this hike apart from most trails in Arizona is the system of cables, handrails, and bridges in some sections of the hike. This was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps to service a 40-foot light beacon that was installed at the top of the peak for air traffic control, later the Boy Scouts of America added to this, which resembles much like a via ferrata cable system. With that in mind, expect some steep sections of ladders built into the rock. and remember to bring a pair of gloves though you can get by without.
The trail starts straight up switchbacking, gaining almost 968 feet until you reach the saddle. Next the hike will take a twist and descend about 225 feet. And you guessed it- after making that descent you go right back up, but this is the fun part! Now you start to play with the cables and ladders, and the views are breathtaking. As you keep hiking up you’ll actually merge into the Sunset Trail. The trail goes around the mountain and ascends steeply near the end, where you’ll meet more cables and handrails. Once past all the cables you’ll have one last climb to the summit. At the summit you’ll have awesome 360 views of the surrounding area.
- [Park Map](https://d2umhuunwbec1r.cloudfront.net/gallery/0004/0010/1BC2E0E408F54572B470D9E50B99CAC4/PIPE_Park_Brochure2017.pdf)
- Two Liters of water
- Snacks/Lunch for the Summit
- $7.00 for parking into the park
- Good hiking shoes or Boots